Director: Mila Turajilc
Studio: Music Box Films

Learn more about the film here:

“Cinema Komunisto” is a film about politics. It’s a film about politics using the power of the cinema to raise easy money. When you’re in a Soviet Bloc nation where you have to control the thoughts and dreams of the people to keep the great experiment working, you’ll take any help you can get. Tito understood this and he works with the Film Industry to crank out tons of state approved films. Many clips are shown throughout the film, but I could only identify a handful. I never got that big into Soviet era propaganda, but there are some interesting films to be seen.

When Tito took over the Yugoslavian cinema, the state funded industry produced oddities. There were period pieces, genre flicks and then these movies that worked as historical propaganda while reflecting on current living conditions. Most of these attempts were subtle and subtextual enough to slip past government censors. If these filmmakers would’ve been caught or even accused of doing something like that, they surely would’ve been put to death. So, let’s try not to dwell on the dark sides of what could’ve been.

If it wasn’t for Avala Film Studios, I’m not sure that he would’ve been able to hang it together. Tito needed a front that could allow space for Hollywood productions to come and shoot. The resulting American dollar and currency of other nations would help to validate his experiments in mass media control. In a way, it’s almost like Hollywood indirectly helped support Tito’s dictatorship. But, let’s not dwell on the damaged done by Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton chatting up and giving free publicity to Tito. It would almost draw comparisons to Beyonce and Jay-Z going to Havana on a whim. Some things never change.


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